MAPLE GROVE, Minn. (KMSP) - A Maple Grove man has a reason to spread some holiday cheer this year.
His dog went missing after an accident 16 days ago, but the two have been reunited.
They say dogs are man's best friend, and that is certainly true for Daryl Algren and his golden retriever, Zoey.
"He's eating his food. We're feeding him lightly. Drinking and playing with stuff. He's a happy boy," Algren said.
But the fact that Algren and his canine companion are together again is something of a minor miracle.
"The weight of everything has just been lifted off my shoulders," Algren said.
Algren's car was hit by a semi as he and Zoey were on their way back from his cabin in Deerwood, Minnesota, on Nov. 18.
The impact threw Zoey through the back window.
Algren could see him walking on the road, but sheriff's deputies weren't able to catch him before paramedics had to take Algren to the hospital.
"That was the hardest part was driving away in the ambulance knowing he was still out there, " Algren said.
Every day for the next two weeks, Algren and his friends and family drove up to Milaca, Minnesota, to search for Zoey.
They even set up a trap and a trailcam, but all they caught on camera were a few rabbits and a neighbor's dog.
Then a couple of days ago, Algren's nurse spotted Zoey near her home, and her husband tracked him to a nearby house.
That homeowner laid out a blanket, some of Daryl's clothes and food near their fire pit, and when he checked Monday morning, Zoey was laying shivering on the blanket.
"I couldn't believe it. You get goose bumps, adrenaline," Algren said.
As Algren and a friend drove down the homeowner's long driveway to the reunion, Dean Martin's classic "I'll Be Home For Christmas" came on the radio.
But Algren didn't need any music to know he got an early Christmas present, and Zoey gladly became his lap dog once again.
Algren says Zoey lost about 15 pounds and has a rash on one of his shoulders, but otherwise he's no worse for wear.
As for what he plans on getting Zoey for Christmas, Algren says Zoey will get an extra bone for sure.